So Kpakpo I am now a savannah boy oh. I moved out of the busy hustle of traffic and quick money grabbing antics of ‘wild people’ not necessarily armed robbers (won’t even start on the suit wearing ones like the politicians) and body odors of trotro mates as early as 3am in the morning.
My God! Life in the city is so different from life up here.
The filth alone!
Reminds me of when I was trying to win the heart of your cousin, now my roommate, who lived just next to that expensive fashion school that shared a wall with the clinic that never benefits the cocoa farmers who contribute to its existence. How do you build a clinic in the city for cocoa farmers who live in the village where their farms are? But Kpakpo, like everything else in this our land, we will talk about that another day.
I will sit in her house until she fell asleep, dutiful boyfriend that I was. Your other cousins looked at me like the intruder that I was and even sometimes your auntie will intervene and tell her to let me go since I was somebody else’s son too. But she won’t let me go.
She only let me go when she was asleep which meant I had to sneak out.
In later years I think this has affected me because when she sleeps in my arms I stay awake all night and talk to the rest of the world on that Chinese android device that puts the world in my palm.
Let me not deviate from my story Nii Kpakpo, I was talking about leaving your cousin’s late at night. Living at Korle bu where the big hospital is, it meant that I had to pass through the Kaneshie market.
Eish! That place during the day is a hubbub of traffic both human and lorry oh.
The place is packed and even when the long serving soldier politician Jerry decided to put not one but two pedestrian overhead crossings within hundred meters of each other, some unscrupulous idiots still run across the highway to jump over the median until Brah! Rick Ross has now put wire fences over it. Even that one some die hard ones still cross that way.
Oh Accra! When will it ever change? Whatever you do there will always be recalcitrant vagabonds.
So I will have to walk from the clinic that never benefits its contributors through the dark alleys of that Ga suburb then Kaneshie market take the overhead and then walk through the nooks of the many stores to the taxi rank to take whatever car there was to take me to my mother’s house.
Kpakpo charley! The boys in the hood knew me that I was the one coming to take their ‘shia wuor’ (home chicken) and as such I made sure I ‘settled’ them otherwise they could decide to thwart my efforts or even beat me. Yes sir! I bought them playing cards and sometimes ‘check check’ takeaway food.
Same for the chicken sellers and the riff raff gamblers at the market who sleep there, I always had to say hello.
But any3mi! my main concern is the filth that is left behind after a hard day’s work and how people still slept in it. There are times when I saw parcels of sacks on the floor that I assumed were sacks of yam until these parcels moved and I realized they were human beings that were sleeping on the pavements. Some of these parcels sometimes tended to be families of two or three – usually mother and children. I always wondered where the fathers were.
Kpakpo! Have you ever seen rats as large as well fed cats?
Eish! Kaneshie market! I kept seeing them dashing all over the place at night especially on the roofs of the kiosks and in-between the people that slept on the pavements.
The chicken sellers under the pedestrian walkway were very vigilant because whenever they heard the chickens crying it meant the rats were at it. They actually attacked the chickens and one day I even witnessed a chicken being devoured whole by three rats. What a scene it was.
The chicken sellers therefore were the lightest sleepers I know in the Kaneshie market. Always sleeping and snoring with their mouths and one eye open.
Ha ha ha!! Vigilant indeed!
No wonder they wake up in the morning and they’re the ‘wildest’ of the market workers.
As for the flooding Kpakpo, any time it rained heavily I always wondered what it was like for these homeless pavement-ful people. There are times when I walked by and there were tears in my eyes just at the sight of them huddled still on the pavement in the rain sometimes with rain water rushing over and under them.
This is what I have moved away from oh! These sights were depressing and I felt like a pampered pigeon in that your city. I also felt very impotent since there was nothing much I could do about it.
What baffled me most was that in all this uncomfortable conditions, people from outside the city want to come inside and experience the life some. Eish! This one?
Let me end this one here and I will tell you some of the stories I heard from the people who think I am crazy to have left Hustle City and come to the savannah when they want to come and ‘enjoy’ city life.
Your cousin in law,